Galway Garda win All Ireland title for a second year in a row

Garda (Galway ) 0-16

Mountjoy Prison Officers (Dublin ) 0-07

The Galway Garda retained the All Ireland Interfirms Senior Football Championship with nine points to spare when they defeated the Mountjoy Prison Officers in the Na Fianna GAA Grounds in Dublin this week.

It was another flawless display from Seamus O Donnell’s charges who ensured back to back titles, adding to the All Ireland success in the Garda competition earlier in the year.

The experienced Galway outfit led throughout with the ground work for this latest success laid in a solid first half display during which the Galway side built up a nine-point interval lead. While the Leinster champions had the better of the second half exchanges, they never looked like overturning the interval depicit.

The Prison Officers started brightly with Galway goalkeeper Alan Keane denying first Ger Tracy, then Niall Smith.

Mountjoy were to rue these missed early opportunities as the Garda soon gained the upperhand. Niall Lydon opened their account with a fisted point after six minutes as the Westerners started to play some fine football. A Cormac Bane free was quickly followed by long-range efforts from Mark Walkin and Bane again as they opened up a four-point advantage at the end of the opening quarter.

With Galway on top at midfield, where Brendan Ryan was winning ball, the Prison Officers struggled to make inroads. Mark Caffrey fired over a fifth point after another free-flowing Galway move, and Keane got in on the scoring act when he converted a 45.

From there to the interval the westerners were in control. Niall Lydon, from long range, and Mark Walkin added to the tally. A double from Cormac Bane completed the scoring for the Galway men - the second a delightful effort after a fine move involving Pat Casey, Emmett Rocke, and Pauric O Connor.

Mountjoy finally hit the target when full forward John Flynn converted a close-in free to leave nine points in it at the interval, 0-10 to 0-01.

The Prison Officers once again had the better of the early exchanges after the interval, and two John Flynn points reduced the arrears to seven as the Garda failed to build on their first half momentum.

Mountjoy started to winning all the breaks in midfield, but, apart from Flynn, they had little scoring threat. Another Flynn free and a strike from Des Carlos reduced the margin to five as the match entered the final quarter.

Shane Weldron finally broke the second-half duck for the Connacht champions. This was quickly followed by another point from the lively Cormac Bane, who finished with nine points.

Another Flynn free left six between the sides with eight minutes remaining, but the Galway men finished with a flourish. Persistent fouling by the Mountjoy rearguard was punished by Cormac Bane as he kicked four late points to ensure victory for the Tribesmen.

Galway Garda: A Keane (0-1, 45 ), A Prender, Padraig Kelly, S Durcan, P Casey, Pat Kelly, S Weldron (0-1 ), B Ryan, E Rocke, P O’Connor, M Caffrey (0-1 ), N Lydon(cpt, 0-2 ), D Fawl. M Walkin (0-2 ). C.Bane (0-9, 5 frees ). Subs, N Delaney, S Igoe, S Nallen J Kelly, B Meaney

Mountjoy Prison Officers: K Fagan, A Barker, D Sheridan, S Horgan. D Ward, P Leonard, C Beale, P Mullvihill, N Smith, D Carlos( 0-1 ), P Doyle, T Kilgannon. G Tracy, J Flynn (0-6, 4 frees ), S O’Regan.

Referee: Tom McEntegart (Louth ).

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